The forecasts of the most important macroeconomic variables have changed only slightly since the previous month. The new geopolitical situation resulting from the Ukraine war is thus reflected in the assessments of economic development.
Economic development uncertain
The median forecast for the growth of the real gross domestic product (GDP) of the German economy in the current year 2022 remains unchanged at 2.2 per cent, for 2023 it is slightly higher at 2.8 per cent (previous month: 2.7 per cent). However, the range of forecasts is considerable and reflects great uncertainty about the further economic development this year: The lowest forecast predicts a slight recession with a decline of 0.3 per cent (relative to the previous year), while the highest forecast sees very strong growth at 4.1 per cent. For 2023, this GDP forecast range is between 1.4 per cent (lowest) and 3.9 per cent (highest).
Positive signals for labour market development
The further development of the German labour market is expected to be overwhelmingly positive. For 2022, the annual average (median) unemployment forecast is 5.0 per cent, and for 2023 it is 4.9 per cent. Both figures are slightly higher than in the previous month, but compared to the current unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent (March 2022), virtually none of the experts assume that this rate will rise. Instead, many of the experts can imagine to see an even more significant decline.
Strong decline in inflation expected next year
The inflation forecast for 2022 has increased from 5.7 to 6.0 per cent since last month. However, experts still expect a sharp decline next year; in 2023, inflation is forecast to be 2.4 per cent, only slightly above the target set by the European Central Bank (ECB). For 2022, the range of forecasts is also unusually wide: The lowest forecast value is 3.5 per cent, the highest forecast value is 8.2 per cent. For 2023, the forecast ranges between 1.8 and 3.6 per cent.
What is surprising about the forecast ranges is that the uncertainty expressed by them is very high for the current year, while it is significantly lower for 2023. This is remarkable because, in principle, unexpected developments are more likely to occur in a longer period of time than in a shorter one. There is another tendency in the forecasts that somewhat calls into questions that the forecast interval be interpreted as a mere expression of uncertainty: Thus, the rather low forecasts for 2022 are accompanied by rather high forecasts for 2023 and vice versa.